UK will be 'first in the world to beat Covid with jabs', former Vaccines Minister predicts

UK will be 'first in the world to beat Covid with jabs', former Vaccines Minister predicts

BRITAIN could be the first country in the world to be free of coronavirus, Nadhim Zahawi has claimed.

The former vaccine minister said the Covid vaccine rollout had helped bring the bug under control across the country.


Across the UK, more than 15 million booster vaccines have been rolled out in order to protect the most vulnerable from a tough winter.

The UK came out of lockdown earlier this year and at the time, ministers were criticised for the decision.

Speaking today, Mr Zahawi, now Education Secretary, told LBC Radio: "Our four-step plan meant that we were able to open up the economy in the summer. Some said it was a mistake – I think it was absolutely the right thing to do."

In the last month, the government has urged eligible Brits to come forward for their booster vaccinations.

Mr Zahawi said the UK could be demonstrating to other places how you can go from pandemic to endemic through the use of jabs.

He added: "We will probably, I hope, without being complacent, be the first major economy in the world to demonstrate how you transition (from) pandemic to endemic using vaccines."

Mr Zahawi's comment come after it was today revealed that the Delta Covid variant – which is the most dominant variant in the UK, may have mutated itself into self-extinction.

The Covid strain has sprouted a number of “children” – scientifically called lineages – that share similar characteristics.

Delta was already far more transmissible than the original “Wuhan” strain of the virus.

And other variations of Delta have been shown to cause fewer symptoms, carry immune-escaping mutations, or be even more fast-spreading.

But now, it's possible it’s mutated too much and has “self-destructed”, according to experts in Japan, where the virus has slowed.

Japan endured its largest Covid wave in the late summer, with cases peaking at around 23,000 a day in August.

But the wave came to an abrupt standstill and has almost completely fizzled out, with no more than 140 cases a day.

The nation’s capital Tokyo, the world’s largest city that is home to 40 million people, recorded just six new cases on Monday.

But as cases continue to fall in Japan, they have shot up in Europe this past week with Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel warning that Germany's Covid nightmare is 'worse than anything we've every seen'.

Numerous European countries have slapped lockdown-style restrictions onto citizens as the Christmas period approaches.

While about 60 per cent of people in Western Europe are fully jabbed against Covid, including 80 per cent of Britons, only about half as many are vaccinated in the eastern part.

WHO said the highest numbers of new cases last week were in Russia, Germany and the UK.

But the UK is “already ahead” of the wave in Europe, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, one of those behind the creation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, said.

He claimed it is “unlikely” the UK will see a rise similar to parts of Europe, he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “We’ve actually had some spread (of the virus) going on since the summer, and so I think it’s unlikely that we’re going to see the very sharp rise in the next few months that’s just been seen. 

“We’re already ahead of that with this particular virus, the Delta variant.”

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